The Girl Who Takes Pictures of Everything

You going to take pictures of everything all night?

Yes I am and one day you will thank me for it. To remember the Christmas we could wear flip-flops or the last time Uncle Joe sang Ava Maria. Pictures allow us to remember the details of every human and event [that we want to] in our lives. One day these trivial details will have left our memory to be filled with more recent and perhaps more pleasant thoughts but we should never forget the people and times that developed us to become who we are.

Anyone who has met me will probably label me as one of those girls who loves taking pictures, and don’t get me wrong, I do. If you personally know me, it’s clear I like to capture every single moment — from what I eat, to what I wear and to where I go. Though I may say I do it to decorate my shelves with framed photos, sometimes post albums on Facebook or have options on which picture to post on Instagram, the real reason is my fear of forgetting or having those we have lost, be forgotten.

There will be a time, when places and people of my past will no longer be able to be visited but with photography we can always go back to an exact moment in time.

There are days you wish you could hold on to and with your camera, you can. I’m as interested in capturing our mundane routines as I am in capturing holidays and special events. Taking pictures helps you to hang on to those memories a little longer. There are images that can transport you to a different time and place. I love being able to express myself through my camera. I use it as an extension of myself to tell stories that people want to hear and remember.

I have this mentality that maybe if I just took as many pictures as I could of everything and everyone, I would somehow remember it all and those who have left this world would never be forgotten. I look on at the people that I love and laugh at the silly candid’s or yearn for the days I could hear my grandmother’s voice again. But all that is left are the documents that we hold on to.

I’ve realized that as our memory fades, photos become anchors to life events. I used photos to help fill in the blanks and to keep memories from evolving into happenings that didn’t really happen or spark details that may have been forgotten. I live my life through the lens of a camera because that is how I want to see the world I live in. Yes I need to have my camera, yes it will be in your face, if you don’t like it maybe you aren’t meant to be documented in my life.

In the distant, very distant, future when I become a mother, I want my children to know how I grew up and how lucky I was to have special people in my life. I want them to see how the relationships I had with these people helped me to become the person that I am or will be. The most important thing is to capture the moments that make us smile, make us laugh, make us happy.

My camera is a diary that captures everything from my bare feet in the sand to Wyatt sleeping on his bed to my mother decorating cupcakes as she laughs in the dining room. I take pictures because I love it and it’s that simple. Moments are fleeting, people come and go but worst of all time passes quickly before your eyes.

Photography should make you feel something, anything, whether it be good or bad. This past year I have documented anything that I wanted to with my Polaroid. Close to a hundred pictures I can physically hold and look back on. I go into 2016 with the same fun project to document my favorite people, events and places. This goes against all of the “live in the moment people” but this is how I live and relive the moments of my life.

 

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True Life: I am Pro Selfie

Why shouldn’t we take pictures of ourselves? Why shouldn’t we share with the world a picture we look good in? People who aren’t a fan of selfies are haters and in the immortal words of Taylor Swift they’re gonna hate hate hate hate hate! So let them and selfie on!

We belittle those who post pictures of themselves yet those same people complain that girls should “be more confident”. So to that I say, let them take pictures! I love when my friends post candid pictures even if they are “staged candids”, all my millenials know what I’m talking about. Pictures of you are the best because it shows a true smile and the quirky, flawless you.

I want to see my friends and what they look like in the here and now! I don’t get to see them everyday so this is a nice trend we started here! I don’t want to see a picture of mountains or a sunset because honestly I could probably see better ones off of Google images! I want to see your beautiful self and what you do throughout the day.

In lieu of a boring status update about your delicious dinner or the restaurant you’re at, share a photo of yourself staring lovingly at your ice cream sundae or sitting next to your best friend enjoying a martini from your favorite bar. This selfie communicates so much more than a status could: what you look like, your expression, who you’re with, where you are.

You look perfect, yes it’s staged but what pictures aren’t? So what you put a filter on everything and highlight your eyes? It’s still you! The selfie is breaking down the barriers of what it means to be beautiful. The media’s narrow definition of beauty is being challenged by people who don’t fit that mold. We’re constantly encountering images of people of all shapes, sizes, skin colors and gender identities — and they look amazing. They chose to post these images because they love themselves

So share your selfies because I want to see you and meet you! Tag them to Instagram at #TOGselfie! Comment below on what you think of the selfie generation! I can’t wait to hear!

Stay beautiful!

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You Are My Person

There are friends and then there are best friends. Being an only child my friends are always something so much more. They are family who know the ins and outs of my life; everything from where I keep the bottle opener to my biggest dreams & fears.

I hope everyone gets to experience what it is like to find “their person”. It’s amazing feeling whether days or weeks go by that they are always there for you, in good times and in bad. Spanning all over the U.S. no matter the time of day if you send a “you up?” message, you’ll get an immediate message. Nothing compares to a best friend, a person you can always be yourself around and never have to worry if they won’t like who you really are. No matter what you do or say they have your back and will defend you to the end because they always want the best for you.

A good friend lets you borrow her top but a best friend lets you borrow her toothbrush.

A good friend will cancel plans if something more important comes up but a best friend will stay true to your plans no matter what or invite you along because you’ve been to dozens of family events anyway what’s one more.

A good friend comes over ready to party! Your best friend is helping you scrub the floors because your house is a disaster and she knows how important a clean toilet is to you. Or she is the one refilling your wine as your vacuuming up the dog hair with curlers in your hair.

A good friend knows your general family and possibly a bit into the crazy dynamic of your life but a best friend can name all of your siblings middle names and all of the dogs you have ever had and where the name “Pudgy” came from.

A good friend makes plans and you have a good night out. A best friend alters and adjusts to make for ample fun.

A best friend has been through all the significant other drama and never left your side and you equally have her back. Plus she will never judge because “we don’t judge in this car”.

Good friends know people you don’t like but best friends share in the same hatred of your cousin’s ex girlfriends sister because when you were in the 3rd grade she pushed you on the playground and you still haven’t gotten over it.

Your best friend knows some weird shit about you that others totally shouldn’t. They also can tell you that you obviously sing the boy parts better and she always nails those high notes… kinda…

Good friends find out about bad nights after they happen while your best friend is the one sitting on the bathroom floor pouring the shots and offering true and honest advice.

Jealousy isn’t a thing between you and your best. You want to see them excel so you can brag about them to everyone! You never EVER think “why did she get that” or “why not me?” because you love them and they are a part of who you are.

A good friend and you will laugh until you cry but a best friend is the one who will be there to hold you when you can’t stop crying. And when they can’t physically be there they stay up with you as long as you need.

Good friends might talk about you behind your back but best friends see nothing to talk about. Typically when you gossip it’s because you see something wrong or annoying but you best friend can pretty much expect what your response or reaction will be. Plus you can have those difficult conversations while offering your opinion because your relationship helps grow each other.

Lastly my go to move. Not only am I a story repeater but I am a terrible story teller. So good friends will stop you if they have heard the story before but your best friend will let the rant go on. You best will know (when you leave out major details) exactly what you are saying, good friends just look on in a state of confusion.

Good friends can turn into best friends if you let them.  I feel like as we get older the more judgmental we become. Remember to be open and let more people into your life. Best friends aren’t always made when you are 5 years old some people are meant to come into your life much later. Life has a funny way of working out. Each person is put into our life for a reason. From riding our bikes to DQ to meeting up for a drink after a stressful day at work, friends make your life so much more than most can imagine. They are your number one fan and biggest supporter.

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Hey Four Eyes!

When I was in the fourth grade, my teacher read from big, oversized books and we’d each stand up, one at a time, and read a sentence. One day, I stood up, looked at the page, and realized I couldn’t read a word; it was all a blur.

I mean this wasn’t shocker. It’s not like my family is a bunch of sharp shooters and I’m over here. To be honest I’m surprised my genetics took me this far.

Next thing I remember, I was sitting in an ophthalmologists’ office picking out a pair of glasses. Glasses? I imagined kids would call me “four eyes” (they didn’t). I imagined being picked on, being called ugly (I wasn’t). So I picked out the roundest pair I could find and chose confetti as the color- let your imagination run wild.

But you know what did happen? I COULD SEE! It took some adjusting and some resisting on my end but overall the ability to see outweighed my inability to read the chalkboard.

All that to say, I’ve been wearing glasses for a long, long time. I type this rocking a negative 4.5 in my right and a whopping negatie 6.25 in my left. I’ve had pairs I’ve loved, pairs I’ve hated, and pairs that have been run over, rolled over, and snapped. When kids couldn’t remember my name, I was “the girl in glasses” by default. It’s my thing.

So, as the woman in glasses, allow me to shed some light on ordinary and consistent problems us bad-sighted folk deal with:

1. When your glasses break, your empty wallet flashes before your eyes.

It’s not just an ordinary accessory. Either you drop hundreds of dollars on new frames and lenses immediately, rock some Urkel tape, or go through the Warby Parker try-on period and stay blind for a solid week.

2. Choosing the right frames requires at least a full day of indecision.

The decisions! Sometimes we like the “look” of a frame, but it doesn’t suit our face shape. Or, we worry that it’s too trendy. Or, too flashy. Or, too boring.

These things are going to be on our face, and I don’t know a single person who can pick out frames without a mild mental struggle and a few selfie texts to friends.

3. Eye exams are comparable to Medieval torture.

“Which one is clearer: number 1 *click* number 2 *click* or are they about the same?”
Ummm, the first one? No, definitely the second. Wait, can you go back again? Maybe they’re the same? And no, I would NOT like you to puff air into my eyes.

Unfortunately, a prerequisite to getting new lenses are these uncomfortable appointments, reminding us we’re slightly blinder each year.

4. And you can’t see sh*t when you’re swimming, either.

Let’s just say I spent my childhood summers as “Marco.

5. Rain storms leave you with blurry vision.

Bummer about your hair getting wet, but I can’t see right now.

6. Going into someone’s warm house when it’s cold outside …

Your glasses WILL fog up.

7. Drinking a hot cup of tea or coffee …

Your glasses will ALWAYS fog up.

8. Be prepared to lose your frames to infants who’ve hit their “grabbing” milestone.

No baby can resist grabbing these puppies straight off my face as I gently wrestle it out of their fiercely tight fists

9. Showering and shaving is done by memory.

We basically learn to shave by feel, not sight. And is this shampoo or conditioner? *squints at the bottle*

10. You’re too familiar with the unsettling feeling of people asking to try on your glasses.

Then you’re momentarily blind as they say, “Oh my gosh; you’re blind!” Yes, yes I am. Now stop stretching my frames.

11. You reach for your glasses in the morning and discover they’re missing.

Assume the position of crouching down and patting the rug. A minute of panic always comes over you when you think you slept on them for 8 hours. See #1.

12. We fit into three stereotypes: nerdy geek, sexy librarian, and well-read/smart.

I fit into the fourth- person who can’t see and just needs glasses to view the world around us.

13. Everyone has an opinion when you’re wearing your contacts or glasses.

I’ve actually had several people tell me I look better in glasses, which is a strange compliment because they’re essentially saying I look better when plastic is partially covering my face.

14. You instinctively go to adjust your glasses mid-conversation

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15. People who wear glasses strictly for fashion annoy you.

You don’t know the struggle and for that, we shun you. I literally can’t see if I don’t turn my hear. Hence I am blind if I look down/up/left/right.